Columbia Gas reminds customers to contact 811 before digging year-round
In conjunction with National 811 Day, Columbia Gas of Virginia hopes that 8/11 on the calendar serves as a natural reminder for residents to call 811 or visit VA811.com at least three business days before any digging project to have underground utility lines marked.
With the summer heat in full swing, homeowners turn to do-it-yourself work in and around their yards. National 811 Day is the perfect opportunity to remind folks of the importance of contacting 811 at least three business days before digging.
In 2021, 31 percent of damages occurred due to failure to call 811 before a digging project. The primary cause of damages in the late summer was due to fence installations and landscaping projects. If you contact 811 before you dig, there’s less than a one percent chance of damaging a utility line.
When contacting 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to Virginia 811, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Requests can also be conveniently made online at VA811.com. Professional locators then arrive at the digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint, or both. Requests should be made at least three business days before digging. This service is provided free of charge, and it’s the law.
An underground utility line is damaged every few minutes because someone decided to dig without first contacting 811. Striking a single line can cause serious injury, repair costs, inconvenient outages, and fines. With people relying on their utilities to work and communicate, inconvenient outages are important to avoid. Every digging project, no matter how big or small, warrants contacting 811 by phone or online. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree, and laying a patio are just some examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 or a visit to VA811.com before starting.